Put idle gold stock to use, cut down imports, says World Gold Council

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 5 2014, 14:03pm hrs
GoldWGC also suggested the government launch ?Karigar welfare scheme? towards skill development and training of artisans. (Source: Reuters)
India, the worlds largest gold consumer, should put to use the estimated 22,000 tonnes of gold lying idle with households and temples, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).

This would help lower the countrys dependence on imports and can, instead, help a five-folds increase in jewellery exports to top levels of $40 billion by 2020, up from the current $8 billion.

This should also help in the creation of 5 million new jobs across the gold value chain manufacturing, retailing, assaying and recycling areas, it added.

Our vision for gold is that it should be put to work for the economy, creating jobs, developing skills, generating exports and revenues an essential part of the financial, economic and social structure of the country, WGC said in its Vision 2020 for the country.

WGC said that the country should meet 40 per cent of gold demand from its domestic stocks and the rest 60 per cent through imports and mining.

That apart, India should target 75 per cent of gold sold to be standardised and hallmarked in the next five years. It should also provide higher loan to value ratio for hallmarked jewellery and ensure mandatory hallmarking for pieces above a designated selling price, WGC said.

WGC also suggested the government launch Karigar welfare scheme towards skill development and training of artisans and promotion of a gold tourism circuit, showcasing handcrafted Indian jewellery.

This vision is to outline objectives for the industry that address the savings habit underpinning gold demand, support value addition, increase employment opportunities and benefit the industry in an organised way without curbing supply or impacting the current account deficit, the report said.

This will allow the gold trade to operate in a free and transparent manner for the benefit of millions of households and eventually lead to increased economic wealth for the nation, it added.

(With PTI Inputs)